Honda Motors Co. has come to an agreement with 46 U.S. states to pay $85 million in its latest settlement over the use of defective Takata airbag inflators. In the consent agreement, Honda of America agreed to pay the $85 million and update its frontal airbag safety procedures in order to avoid the cost of future litigation.
In a statement reported by the Washington Post and the New York Times, Honda accused its former supplier of misleading them and other automakers. “The now-bankrupt airbag inflator supplier, Takata, pleaded guilty in 2017 to federal criminal fraud charges for deceiving Honda and other automakers about the safety of its airbags,” it said.
Honda did not admit to wrongdoing in the consent agreement.
The company is aware of three inflator mishaps related to the latest wave of recalls: one, in 2012, that resulted in an injury, and two in Japanese junk yards.
The defective Takata airbag inflators have been a thorn in Honda’s side since at least 2008. Since then, Honda has recalled almost 13 million vehicles equipped with faulty inflators made by the company. And they’re not alone: 18 other major automakers have been forced to recall cars containing faulty Takata air bag inflators, including BMW, Ford, GM, Toyota, Audi, Isuzu, and Mitsubishi.
The latest recall campaign concerns a separate group of defective air bags from a larger recall effort. The current settlement concerns airbags which contain a chemical inflation agent that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says may have been improperly sealed. If moisture gets into the propellant, it can cause the airbag to underinflate or explode.
Vehicles recalled in the latest wave include the Isuzu Oasis, as well as certain vehicles made by Toyota, BMW, Audi, Honda and Mitsubishi. Comprehensive information on what vehicles are being recalled for Takata air bag-related defects is available on the NHTSA’s official website.